Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery / Art Students League of New York
215 West 57th Street, 212-247-4510
October 4 - October 31, 2007
Responding to a growing interest in non-traditional media among some of its students, the historic Art Students League of New York will mount an exhibit of works by contemporary, ground-breaking artists working in that realm. Eight League teachers and students spent a year developing the exhibit, which will feature video works by Gary Hill and Tony Oursler, a furniture design by Maya Lin, and a painting by Outsider artist Henry Darger. “OUT THERE” will run from October 4 through 31 in the League’s Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery at 215 West 57th St..
Chakaia Booker’s powerful command of rubber tires and wood as a sculptural medium will be represented by her towering, 9-foot Cross Over Effects. A large-scale cedar sculpture by Ursula von Rydingsvard will also be on display, as will Mia Westerlund Roosen’s Maquette for Little Falls, one of her resin-infused felt sculptures. Alison Saar’s Kiss on a Rope, executed by two 6-foot lovers’ heads made of wood and tin, will be suspended from the gallery ceiling.
Multi-media works by Ligorano/Reese and Chicago-based artist Steve Waldeck will round out the exhibit. Waldeck combines moving images with music and environmental sounds to “sustain a never-ending moment” in his framed wall hangings. He has adapted this medium to large-scale public projects such as a 450-foot “woodland passage” of leafy images at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport. For the College of Lake County in Illinois, Waldeck created Passages, an homage to a local farmhouse that combines photos of the building with music by composer Peter Gena. A model of this permanent installation is on loan for the League exhibit.
Founded in 1875, the League has for generations hired professional artists to teach drawing, painting, sculpture and graphics. While the majority of classes focus on such classical genres as figure drawing, landscape and still life, the League has always sought to offer instruction in “cutting edge” art of the day. In 1916, this meant hiring Ashcan School artist John Sloan. By the early 1930s, it meant hiring political satirist George Grosz and famed abstract artist Hans Hofmann. While Hofmann went on to found his own school, the League continued to respond to the changing interests of its students.
OUT THERE does mark a departure from the League’s usual exhibit schedule devoted primarily to the school’s instructors and students. None of the participating artists except for Gary Hill have any affiliation with the institution. The curatorial committee, composed of instructors Mariano del Rosario, Bruce Dorfman, Silya Kiese, Grace Knowlton, students Elena Ruano Kanidinc, Hiromitsu Kuroo, Jennifer Simon, and League curator Pam Koob, say they find this development refreshing.
The League’s Harriman Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9 am to 8:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 5 pm.